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tiger mom (maya guest post)

April 10, 2013

Things got ugly with my mom this week, and I’m not exaggerating.

I knew it was coming though…the writing was on the wall. Because in addition to my mom coming home from New York (which always puts her in a bad mood), she’s been engrossed in “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” every night.

And to make matters worse? I got an “F” on my math test.

At Crustacean...I keep asking my mom if we can go to Crustacean, mainly because I know she intensely dislikes the restaurant.

I keep asking my mom if we can have dinner at Crustacean, mostly because I know she thinks its overpriced and the service is “quite horrendous.” I love annoying her.

Well technically, I didn’t get an “F,” I got a “1.” This is because some important person did a study on how number grades are less harsh than letter grades, and since it’s super important to protect my delicate psyche, they did away with letter grades!

Cool, huh? So really, my mom was kind of lying when she put on her saddest expression and told everyone who would listen, “I can’t believe Maya got her first “F! And she’s just 8.” 

But I was smart enough not to bring THAT up.

There was no time anyway because my mom was already doing damage control. She took away my TV time, cancelled all my play dates, and even told me I couldn’t have dessert! She did this last thing even though I heard her lecture my dad last week about how he should never use food as a reward or a punishment because that may lead to serious problems when I’m older.

See? I had my listening ears on. Just like she always tells me I should. I guess my dad didn’t though, because he didn’t point out her hypocrisy. Or maybe he was just scared to?

Seabass @ Crustacean, Famous Garlic Noodles @ Anqi, Cod and Sweet Potato Fries @ Lala's. (apparently my mom needed some carbs)

Seabass @ Crustacean, Famous Garlic Noodles @ Anqi, Cod and Sweet Potato Fries @ Lala’s. (Apparently my mom needed some feel-good carbs.)

Anyway, back to my bad grade. So the thing is that I don’t really care if I can answer 30 addition problems in 60 seconds. My dad agrees. I know this because I heard him tell my mom, “My parents never got mad at me for my grades and look at how I turned out.” 

My mom nodded like she cared but I’m pretty sure she disregarded my dad’s opinion like she usually does. She was too busy planning her strategy, which I’m sure incorporates Tiger Mom’s theory that it’s not a parent’s job to make sure their kid likes them, it’s their job to make them work HARD.

So the good news is that school is over in exactly two months. The bad news? It’s going to be a rough two months with Tiger Mom hovering. Wish me luck.

84 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2013 2:12 am

    Nice post Maya! Good luck in the holidays with your Mom 😛
    By the way, you and your Mom are sooooo this pic 🙂

  2. April 10, 2013 2:43 am

    Lovely pic…and best of luck with your mum in the coming day..:)

    • April 10, 2013 2:46 am

      I meant, days…:) ,
      Note to Ameena: I am afraid the battle hymn wont work these days..:)

      • April 10, 2013 7:53 pm

        Did you read it Gayathri? So curious what others thought about the book?

      • April 10, 2013 9:43 pm

        I read it but I found the methods a bit extreme and exacting. No doubt my parents were also the typical demanding parents but this lady was taking it a bit far.

  3. seana permalink
    April 10, 2013 4:11 am

    Since when is a 1 less harsh than an F for a child? What kind of school do you go to? I think mom should put you in a stricter school where they make you work much harder. Maybe she should consider a boarding school 🙂

    • April 10, 2013 7:53 pm

      Boarding school would solve all my problems! But I might miss Maya…just a little bit. 🙂

  4. April 10, 2013 4:17 am

    Sorry to hear about the hard test, Maya. If it makes you feel better, Math in college was the end of me. I hated it with a passion and still don’t understand why I needed 2 semesters of calc…

    However, they got rid of letter grades? Are you kidding me? I assume Maya is also going to be joining sports leagues where they refuse to keep score?

    I’m judging the school system right now. If it’s “less harsh”, how will they learn to do better?

    • April 10, 2013 7:54 pm

      I’ve heard of soccer leagues that don’t keep score, they just play for fun. Which is fine, for a day. But then what’s the goal if there are no scores?

      Love this comment Amy. Very insightful.

  5. April 10, 2013 4:22 am

    Great post, Maya. Study hard, you can turn that grade around. I agree that food should not be punishment or reward. I speak from experience.

    • April 10, 2013 7:57 pm

      Thanks for the comment Fran…I take your advice very seriously and will definitely make more of an effort to avoid tying food to anything, good or bad.

  6. April 10, 2013 4:53 am

    Great post from Maya. Loved the pictures. Especially of you and maya 🙂

  7. April 10, 2013 4:59 am

    Great post Maya! When I used to get an F my mum would cancel TV and was not allowed to have friends over until I got a better grade! Mums can be so unfair sometimes but it’s all for the good of you! Better luck next time! BTW you both look gorgeous in that pic!

    • April 10, 2013 5:01 am

      BTW I got a F in English because I could not figure out where I should use ‘a’ and ‘an’ obviously I still make the same mistakes!

    • April 10, 2013 7:58 pm

      Did you really get an F in English? I don’t believe you!

      Thank you for the compliment my friend. 🙂

      • April 11, 2013 12:12 am

        Yep I did get a F, to add insult to the injury my mum was a English teacher back then. Till this day she still reminds me of that F!

  8. April 10, 2013 5:56 am

    Well done, I’ll give you an A+ for this – be proud.

  9. April 10, 2013 6:09 am

    Maya – #1 is always the best. Doesn’t EVERYBODY know that already. I think it sounds like you are the sweet one, dear. Tell mommy to have some sweet potato fries and she will simmer down. XO.

    • April 10, 2013 6:10 am

      Sorry I meant to say, smart one. But that goes without saying 😉

    • April 10, 2013 8:05 pm

      I think I need another pile of fries…just finished around round of homework. Sigh.

  10. hcoving permalink
    April 10, 2013 6:47 am

    Very funny post Maya and maybe you are like me. Maybe you are like me and you get distracted by the ridiculous nature of 1st grade math problems. “Timmy has 48 apples and wants to buy 35 bananas, how much fruit will Timmy have?” Um, why does Timmy need all that fruit? Does Timmy have hoarder tendencies? Those are the real questions.

    • April 10, 2013 8:06 pm

      So funny Heather. Maya had a question about someone checking out 200 library books. I was like 200 books? Is there no common sense??

  11. April 10, 2013 7:03 am

    Each time I lecture my son about working harder in math, there is this mean voice in my head that never fails to brings MY report card with its ‘red’ firmly in place to visual memory and miraculously my voice lowers down drastically?!

    Maya, in no time you’ll be graduating out of Business School MBA n’ all and that would be a good time to pull this post out and laugh 😀 Until then, make sure Mom is never far from SP fries, cookies and other comfort food 😀 😀

    • April 10, 2013 8:08 pm

      My dad would have flipped if I’d received an F on anything…thus history repeating itself here. 🙂

      So curious what Maya will end up being when she grows up? It seems so far away. A whole lot of fries will be consumed before then, I’m sure.

      • April 11, 2013 2:09 pm

        I don’t remember my Dad saying anything harsh to me, but the angry + you’ve-let-me-down-my-pet-daughter expression on his face was enough to get my hands and legs all shaky to go to him with my report card.

  12. Lydia permalink
    April 10, 2013 7:06 am

    Love your pic with Maya. Both are looking fabulous as always. Hahaha… and you sound just like me, I guess now I know how my kids feel now.. 🙂
    Always looking forward to read Maya’s (or even Ali 😉 ) guest post.

    • April 10, 2013 8:09 pm

      Thanks Lydia.

      I bet if Maya had really written this? It would be way harsher. 🙂

  13. April 10, 2013 7:37 am

    Good luck Maya, you can do it! My kids are counting the days until school ends too 😉

    • April 10, 2013 8:10 pm

      Thanks Stacie.

      Summer brings another whole host of problems, doesn’t it? 🙂

  14. April 10, 2013 8:22 am

    I am sorry about the grades Maya but I am confident that you will work hard and get A ooops I meant 100 next time 🙂 although I am little nervous about situation after two months. If anything tell daddy to buy mama tickets to NY and summer will be very peachy :p

    • April 10, 2013 8:10 pm

      Such a good idea! NY is the answer to all my problems.

  15. April 10, 2013 9:47 am

    I haven’t read the book but I agree that as parents it’s our job to set rules, boundaries & expectations, not be our kids best friend. That said I think when done right, you can have a tight relationship that fosters a whole lotta love. Emry is so smart and I tell her so all the time, but then it will backfire when I can’t do something and she rolls her eyes at me. I say “Emry, I am your mother, have some respect”. But I have to say we were playing a trivia game & I knew most of the answers and I could tell she was impressed. Whew, that was close.

    • April 10, 2013 8:11 pm

      I bet the day will come when Maya will roll her eyes at me and I will flip my lid! You handled it really well Marie.

      You are a good mom. A very good mom.

  16. April 10, 2013 10:01 am

    Hi Maya! I hope you visit SF soon so you can teach Little Man all about writing fantastic blog posts! Oh, and you might want to think of some excuses to avoid piano. Rumor has it, Tiger Mom LOVED to make her kids practice the piano and I’d nip that in the bud before your mom gets on the piano train 😉

    PS: The Hubster has said we’re making Little Man take piano whether he likes it or not so you can clearly tell who is the Tiger parent in our house 🙂

    • April 10, 2013 8:12 pm

      We won’t be getting on the piano train because we have no piano! And no room for one. 🙂

      For now I’m on the tennis train. Let’s see where that takes us….

      • libyan_coolchick permalink
        April 13, 2013 1:10 pm

        You could always purchase an electric piano/keyboard. I just read an article yesterday saying that learning a musical instrument may actually make you better at math and it is great exercise for the brain. I would recommend the cello over the piano, however, it will drive you and Ali crazy for awhile as it never sounds very good when you are first learning.

      • April 13, 2013 8:48 pm

        Great suggestion…I think that an instrument would be a great idea. I just need to figure out some lessons. And a piano. 🙂

        Thanks for the comment LC. 🙂

      • seana permalink
        April 15, 2013 11:07 am

        Skip the keyboard. And piano. The ever troubling meddling Grandma on my ex husand’s side, offered to get my daughter a piano when she was taking lessons (said meddling Grandma paid for them.and took her at 7pm on Thursdays for 3 years). Yeah, we had the room for it. Bad mom, me, said no. Enter the keyboard. Which is collecting dust as I type. I haven’t heard it in years. Not a bad thing. If you lived closer to me it would be yours. Free. Ha ha. Isn’t the new thing, “Pay it Forward?” PS: My daughter earned good grades regardless without the piano. Texting is the new exercise for these kid’s brains. Me, I played kickball in the street ( w/ street lights) with my Grandpa yelling at me telling me it was dark and to come in.

      • April 15, 2013 3:50 pm

        Oh my gosh. I am laughing out loud right now. I say so many of the same things! Love the sarcasm. Finally, someone who can get / give sarcasm! 🙂

        And the second I see a kid texting? My blood pressure just rises….not sure what my problem is? I can’t help myself.

  17. Taking On Magazines permalink
    April 10, 2013 11:59 am

    Oh my, I’m so sorry about the 1, Maya. I think school’s a lot harsher for you guys than it was for me. Heck, at your age, I was still trying to not eat paste.

    That being said, Mom only has your best interests at heart. You may not think you need to know 30 math problems in 60 seconds now, but if you end up as captain of the space shuttle headed to Mars, you just might need to calculate how much gas is needed to make the landing, stay a while, then take off again. At that point, boy, you’ll be glad you stuck with it.

    • April 10, 2013 8:13 pm

      Love this comment Christianne. I do hope that Maya sticks with it! Not sure how long I can stick to making her stick to it. If that makes any sense?

      School is much harder than I remember it being. Which is good for the kids. Hard for the parents.

  18. April 10, 2013 2:34 pm

    such a funny post.. i got bad grades too when I was young, and then I changed in high school, because that’s when it really matters. 🙂 I had no idea you had another blog Ameena, I’ll have to read it more after dinner. Maya and you look gorgeous.. she looks a lot like you, i see it with her smile. I gotta try this Crustacean place, you’ve eaten there a few times. Someday I’ll have to visit LA. 🙂

    • April 10, 2013 8:14 pm

      Yes, please come visit me in LA! We would have the best time. There are WAY better places than Crustacean and I will take you to all of them!

  19. April 10, 2013 3:04 pm

    Loved this, keep your chin up Maya, grades aren’t everything. Oh, and maybe find a good hiding place 🙂

  20. olya permalink
    April 10, 2013 3:16 pm

    Aww.. I feel really sorry for you, Maya! On the other hand, you will thank your mom later, in college, when all that math finally will start making sense and you will be wishing you did more of it when you were younger. When I become a momma, I will be relentlessly teaching my child two things – love for reading and love for math.

    • April 10, 2013 8:15 pm

      I love both Olya! What I didn’t love? Science.

      I’m dreading when Maya gets to that stage….

  21. April 10, 2013 3:57 pm

    Maya is a great guest blogger — and so hard to stay mad at, I imagine. Look at that cute face. I will be a mom in just a couple weeks and I’m thinking Tiger Mom may be a good way to go 🙂

    • April 10, 2013 8:16 pm

      A couple of weeks! So happy for you.

      Hit me up if you need any honest advice. Or if you want to vent. I mean that!

  22. April 10, 2013 8:17 pm

    Good luck Maya! I must say, for someone whose school is worried about their “delicate” tendencies, you seem to have a bit of strong tiger in you. But I guess tiger moms have tiger cubs!

    • April 13, 2013 9:08 am

      Maya is a strong tiger…hence why we can’t seem to get along!

  23. April 10, 2013 9:01 pm

    Hey Maya, I got scolded by my mom whenever I stood second in class instead of first and got a long lecture of how I was capable of being the best and wasting it by becoming the second best 😛 … but moms will be moms.They love you in the end :D.

    • April 13, 2013 9:08 am

      I think I need some tips from your mom Eddie! Truly.

  24. April 10, 2013 11:24 pm

    Poor you Maya – very impressed with your language by the way. And without any help from your mom too! Well done 😉

    I think you are a very brave little girl to cope with how hard your mom is treating you. My goodness I’m glad my mom didn’t do that to me! But listen – don’t tell your mom I said that, ok? She scares me too… 😉

    Anyway, good luck with your next test – I hope you get much higher than an ‘F’ or a ‘1’ or whatever because I think you are probably a very clever little girl. You get that from your dad, I’m sure…

    • April 13, 2013 9:09 am

      I scare everyone…even myself. I don’t blame any of you for being scared of me!

      Maya gets her cleverness from me…of course. 🙂

  25. April 11, 2013 12:15 am

    Good luck to you, Maya! Maybe try being a tad bit more diligent about your homework for the next two months; hopefully, it will soften Tiger Mom’s mood!

    • April 13, 2013 9:10 am

      That would definitely soften my mood. It looks unlikely unfortunately!

  26. April 11, 2013 2:38 am

    Oh my gosh, I loved this. I noticed that you still get to wear sequined tops and eat out in overpriced restaurants and get big hugs from Mom, so I’m sure the trauma will be short-lived Maya. 😉

    • April 13, 2013 9:10 am

      Yeah, she has nothing to complain about! But she’s prone to complaining, like her mother… 🙂

  27. April 11, 2013 3:36 am

    Loved Tiger Mom, the only problem is when other kids come over. I draw the line at criticizing them (at least to their faces). I’m so against all the systems in place to shield children from knowing they lost a sports game or did poorly in school.

    • April 13, 2013 9:11 am

      Glad to know I also think the “shields” are doing our kids no good….

  28. April 11, 2013 8:05 am

    Good luck, Maya! You and your Tiger Mom will be best buddies in about 20 years…hang in there!

    • April 13, 2013 9:11 am

      20 years! That’s a long time from now. Not sure we’ll make it. 🙂

  29. April 12, 2013 5:27 am

    Dear Maya,
    I freak out about grades, too. If anyone in my house gets less than a “B” (which number is that?) then my head spins around like the Exorcist. Wait. You’re small. You’ve never seen that. Bottom line– it’s scary. And it’s because I love my kids and I know they can do better!!! Tiger Mom loves you, too.

    • April 13, 2013 9:12 am

      I have a visual of your head spinning right now and I have to admit…I’m a bit sared.

      B = 3? I’m guessing?

  30. willgoh2 permalink
    April 15, 2013 7:37 pm

    Dear Maya,
    My name is M, my mom likes to comment on your mom’s blog now and again, I figure it’s my turn to comment on your post. Sounds like your mom and my mom are reading the same book. My mom made me a week long work packet to take to my grandparents’ when I had a spring break sleep over there! I did the work, but very begrudgingly. Sorry to hear about the “1” but you know I’m with you, I hate math. My mom makes me work really hard on it too but I know she hates math too. I haven’t pointed out to her that she failed Statistics in college once and had to re-take it and the only reason she passed was because her boyfriend’s mother is a math whiz and helped her out (not to mention the pressure of doing well while dating her son).

    Anyway, this is getting really long. I just wanted to fist bump you and say “Hang in there.” Maybe you can make her a nice card telling her how wonderful she is and what a great job at mothering she’s doing and draw some hearts or something. Then she’ll get all mushy and forget she ever grounded you.

    Good luck with that!

    • April 16, 2013 6:52 am

      Dear M –

      You are a lucky little kid! I know this because I am a lucky little kid too. Don’t we have the best mothers? (note sarcasm)

      But really, you are even luckier than me because your mom hates math while my mom? She LOVES it. It’s like her entire being is obsessed with numbers. She can’t understand why I prefer anything and everything to this subject. I think I need a boyfriend’s mom who can help me too.

      In any case, I appreciate the fist bump and the comment. It’s nice to know that there are kids out there that have things in common with me!!


  31. April 16, 2013 10:56 pm

    I love guest posts from Maya. She is a fabulous writer and has natural beauty. …Wait were we supposed to be mad at her for the F 😉

    • April 17, 2013 11:05 am

      Thanks for the comment HM.

      She’s hard to stay mad at, that’s for sure…but I do a pretty good job of it. 🙂

  32. April 17, 2013 6:34 am

    Maya is adorableeee!

  33. April 18, 2013 9:20 am

    Great post, Maya. Gotta work on the grades, pretty girl. And there would be more rewarding by annoying mom during visits to $$$ restaurants 😉 jk!

    • April 18, 2013 9:52 am

      Exactly. I’d be happy to take her to Crustacean if her grades depended on it!

  34. clee99 permalink
    April 18, 2013 9:11 pm

    those timed artihmetic drills gets me sooo upset! all it does is raise students’ anxiety levels. doesn’t test anything!
    on a side note… love your blog! 🙂

    • April 19, 2013 9:02 am

      Thank you Connie for making me feel better about the uselessness of these drills…and thank you for the comment and compliment. 🙂

  35. April 28, 2013 1:31 pm

    I’ve read the Tiger Mommy book, and i also read the blog from Amy Chua’s daughter sometimes.. And you know what, i can relate her to my parents. My parents used to stack me with many courses at such young age. At 6 – 7 years old, i had piano class, Quran class, swimming, tennis and not to mention all those extra private classes were after my normal school time (i finished school at 12 PM, and those courses lined up till 6 PM, that means i only have two free days every week).

    My mother screamed and yelled every time i can’t cope with her math tutorial LOL. And my dad used to calm him down. Im not telling that being a tiger mom is good, but there will be a point when children from tiger moms method are going to realize that they have achieved so much, and be thankful that they have their parents who give them standard of life, and for me, sometimes i feel a bit down that i didn’t take those courses very serious 😦

    Anyway, I’m back to be your reader again. Your blog was gone from my bookmark, then couple days ago suddenly i remember to read it. Be prepared to receive comments from Austria 🙂

    • May 5, 2013 9:04 am

      I also feel sad that I didn’t take piano and chemistry and geometry classes more seriously. I guess it’s hard to realize the importance of things at such a young age?

      Funny how I am just like your mom and Ali is just like your dad….I guess two over the top parents would be dangerous!

      Thanks for reading Amy…looking forward to checking out your blog as well.

      PS: Austria is beautiful! I loved visiting and can’t wait to go back one day.

  36. April 28, 2013 1:32 pm

    I meant, my dad used to calm her down.. Sorry for the grammatical mistake LOL.


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